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high available Tape Drives

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Pradeep_25
Occasional Advisor

high available Tape Drives

1) are there any Tape Drives/Libraries that say they are highly available and no single point failure
2) is high avilability possible in Tape Drives/libraries?
3) are there any drives that give multiple paths to a Tape Drive(/a drive in a library) ?

-pradeep

13 REPLIES
Ranjith_5
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: high available Tape Drives

Hi Pradeep,


HP StorageWorks ESL9000 Series Tape Libraries are having High availability features.

see http://h18006.www1.hp.com/products/storageworks/esl9000/index.html


regards,
Syam
Pradeep_25
Occasional Advisor

Re: high available Tape Drives

is there any multy pathing solution for HP StorageWorks ESL9000
Vincent Fleming
Honored Contributor

Re: high available Tape Drives

Sorry, No multi-pathing to tape drives.

Generally speaking, tape backup is not a critical-path operation - the server's daily operation does not depend on the tape unit(s) being there, like it does with disk drives, so nobody has really bothered developing a multi-pathing solution for tapes.

What are you trying to do that you would need tape drives that are so highly available? Most apps that require such are actually better suited to using something like an MSA1500 with those big ATA drives; the cost/MB is close to that of tape, and the performance is better, and it has full redundancy.

-Vince
No matter where you go, there you are.
Ranjith_5
Honored Contributor

Re: high available Tape Drives

Hi Pradeep ,

There are a lot of SAN enabled libraries available. ESL9000 is the highest configuration ou of HP libraries with SAN capabilities. The library will be connected to the media server ( where the backup software is loaded,ie;veritas,DP etc) with multiple DC cables. So dont worry about Redundancy. Any way this type of libraries are used only in a hifi setup, in which the all servers, storages and backup devices will be on a FC environment.

see an IBM product with all these facilities. (IBM 3584 Tape Library)

http://www-1.ibm.com/servers/storage/tape/3584/index.html

I have used this product and found it very much reliable.

regards,
Syam
Ranjith_5
Honored Contributor

Re: high available Tape Drives

There were spelling mistakes in last post ( Pls read DC as FC.)
============================================

see (IBM 3584 Tape Library). It says it has got Multi-Path Architecture.

http://www-1.ibm.com/servers/storage/tape/3584/index.html

I have used this product and found it very much reliable.

regards,
Syam
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: high available Tape Drives

Multipath tape is not so easy as it might sound. Remember that a disk operation can easily be retried, but a tape uses a sequential medium.
.
Peter Mattei
Honored Contributor

Re: high available Tape Drives

In my opinion the library robotics is the most critical part in a tape library.
Thus multipathing for the robotics has priority.
The drives can be split to two redundant fabrics.

Multipathing for tape drives is tricky because tapes timeouts are fatal.
A failover solution needs to be supported by the backup application as well in order to do retries and recover from timeouts.

DataProtector will support drive failover sometime this year and already supports multipathing/failover for the robotics of the ESL e-series.
In order to do that the robotics needs two independent FC ports going to two fabrics. So the e1200 FC interface has to be replaced by an e2400 interface controller.
In the attached pdf you find how this will be done!

Cheers
Peter
I love storage
Peter Mattei
Honored Contributor

Re: high available Tape Drives

Uups, the pdf was >1MB.
Therefore you find pages 1-4 above and 5-8 here

Cheers
Peter
I love storage
Pradeep_25
Occasional Advisor

Re: high available Tape Drives

i was wondering if a Virtual Tape would help a lot to solve some issues.

Tapes Backup is slow, if Fabric fails and if drive is not reachable, entire backup need to be restarted.

if i have a virtual tape with multipathing, wouldn't Backup be easy?

please tell me if i am missing something or if you have any suggestions/inputs?

-pradeep
Ranjith_5
Honored Contributor

Re: high available Tape Drives

Hi Pradeep,

Kindly explain about the infracture, where u areplanning to implement this type of library. You can go for it only if the site is mission critical, with a lot of high class enterprise level servers. Other wise you wont be able to utilize the library in its full efficiency.

If you can give a brief overview on ur setup, I hope people can make a better suggestion on this.

regards,
Syam
Pradeep_25
Occasional Advisor

Re: high available Tape Drives

Hi syam,

i am thinking of a mission critical enterprise server (mobile phone billing server, NASDAQ transation station - i am not aware of the architecture details how the machines are built, but backup should be happening on those servers) with EVA or Higher storage array attachments.

Virtual Tape storage is not new. There are some virtual Tape Libraries too ( StorageTek SN6000). But SN6000 is connected to physical tape library for tape backup.

Virtual Tape Library i am thinking is a Tape Emulation on hard disk drives. May be EVA/EMA/VA/Cimetrix emulating Tape Drives out of backend FATA disk drives.

what i get is a High end Tape library with lots of Virtual tape drives(up to EVA max Lun fan out) and storage capacity max supported ( FATA 300 GB X 270 drives).

would it be any good ?? faster drive availability, faster backup.. No Library (robot) errors, less maintanance cost

if we add multy pathing to the same, we can see an Enterprise class Tape Library with High availability..

would this be any good??
Ranjith_5
Honored Contributor

Re: high available Tape Drives

Hi Pradeep,

You mean backup on another SAN?

But in this case the you will need to keep this disk storage @ a different physical location. You should keep this atleast 500m away from the data centre in a campus SAN.

If you plan for eva there are lot of solutions available on hp for cloning a storage.

HP StorageWorks Continuous Access EVA is a controller-based application that performs real-time replication between HP StorageWorks enterprise virtual arrays. The solution is enhanced to perform remote replication, and deliver high data availability and performance to users on Fibre Channel based campus, metro or continental Storage Area Networks (SANs). HP Continuous Access EVA provides customers with the highest level of storage data protection capabilities to meet their business continuity implementation goals. They can achieve a competitive advantage by combining disaster-tolerant solutions and disaster-tolerant managed services into their planning and daily routines, ensuring the data's security, availability and integrity - no matter what.
HP Continuous Access EVA delivers local copy with HP StorageWorks Business Copy EVA and virtualization interoperability to protect against disaster scenarios, saving time and money while maintaining the flow of information across the enterprise. HP Continuous Access EVA is an irreplaceable component for protecting any business, yours especially.

see http://h18006.www1.hp.com/products/storage/software/conaccesseva/index.html

http://h18006.www1.hp.com/products/storage/software/bizcopyeva/index.html

Also you shoud have a DR location, which can be atleast 1000km away from ur Primary site.CA EVA will help you replicating the data at ur DR site also.

regards,
Syam
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: high available Tape Drives

Virtual Tape, like FalconStor's VTL (virtual tape library) would have the same problem, because it just emulates a tape drive on the SAN - it still runs the same protocols.
.